Telstra Goes Global With Pacnet's NaaS Offer

Following its $700 million takeover of Pacnet, Telstra has launched a global NaaS offering that will increase the pressure on its network rivals.

Iain Morris, International Editor

April 22, 2015

3 Min Read
Telstra Goes Global With Pacnet's NaaS Offer

Australia's Telstra has launched a global SDN platform that will allow international customers to order various network services on demand.

Taking advantage of the new offering, organizations would be able to match bandwidth needs to specific routes and applications and to have a network service up and running in just a fraction of the time it normally takes.

The SDN platform is the first service that Telstra Corp. Ltd. (ASX: TLS; NZK: TLS) has introduced since completing its US$700 million takeover of Asia's Pacnet last week. (See Telstra Completes Acquisition of Pacnet.)

With an extensive network of data centers and undersea cable infrastructure, Pacnet is providing much of the technology and expertise that underpins the new Telstra platform.

The Asian player introduced a network-as-a-service (NaaS) capability in November 2013 under its Pacnet Enabled Network (PEN) brand, which has now been subsumed into Telstra's product portfolio.

Telstra says it has added nine new points of presence to the 16 that Pacnet was already using to support the PEN platform.

Caroline Chappell, a principal analyst of NFV and cloud technologies at Heavy Reading, says Telstra's move will add major scale to Pacnet's NaaS capability. "PEN was only available through Pacnet in a handful of Asian countries, but now it's part of Telstra, both can -- and have obviously already started to -- leverage Telstra's global network and points of presence," she says.

By using NFV technology, Telstra says it will be able to respond more quickly to "unforeseen network resource requirements," allowing customers to order appliances such as routers and firewalls on demand.

"Network provisioning is completely automated and services that traditionally take weeks can be provisioned in minutes," said Darrin Webb, Telstra's chief operating officer for global enterprise and services, in a company statement.

The high-profile launch of a NaaS offering could spur similar moves by other global carriers in the months ahead, according to Chappell.

"A major global operator like Telstra backing NaaS will certainly put pressure on competitors to follow suit," she says. "NTT Communications comes closest in terms of NaaS capability following its acquisition of Virtela, but AT&T, BT, Orange, Verizon et al need to get their skates on."

NTT Communications Corp. (NYSE: NTT) completed its takeover of Denver-based Virtela Technology Services Inc. in January last year. (See NTT Comms Completes Virtela Acquisition.)

Want to know more about the emerging SDN market? Check out our dedicated SDN content channel here on Light Reading.

Reporting results for the last six months of 2014, Telstra said it expected the Pacnet acquisition to double the scale of its enterprise business in Asia.

Pacnet generated EBITDA of $111 million on revenues of $472 million in 2013 and last year served about 2,400 enterprise customers and 220 carriers.

Besides its 109 points of presence and 29 data centers, the company operates around 46,420 kilometers of submarine cable.

The opportunity to provide bandwidth-on-demand services through investment in SDN and NFV technologies is attracting growing interest from various multinational operators and emerged as a main discussion point at the recent MPLS SDN World Congress in Paris. (See Bandwidth On-Demand Raises Business Model Concerns.)

Sweden's Telia Company is one operator that believes the use of SDN and NFV could open up a whole new market, allowing carriers to provide corporate WAN-like services to small and midsized enterprise customers. "TeliaSonera is currently investigating what it can do in that market," said Youcef Ayad, a senior global product manager for the Scandinavian player, during the Paris event.

— Iain Morris, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, News Editor, Light Reading

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Iain Morris

International Editor, Light Reading

Iain Morris joined Light Reading as News Editor at the start of 2015 -- and we mean, right at the start. His friends and family were still singing Auld Lang Syne as Iain started sourcing New Year's Eve UK mobile network congestion statistics. Prior to boosting Light Reading's UK-based editorial team numbers (he is based in London, south of the river), Iain was a successful freelance writer and editor who had been covering the telecoms sector for the past 15 years. His work has appeared in publications including The Economist (classy!) and The Observer, besides a variety of trade and business journals. He was previously the lead telecoms analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit, and before that worked as a features editor at Telecommunications magazine. Iain started out in telecoms as an editor at consulting and market-research company Analysys (now Analysys Mason).

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like